From Media Matters
Fox's Voter Fraud Special Light On Voter Fraud
April 22, 2012 3:11 pm ET by Matt Gertz
Fox News' latest attempt to promote discriminatory voter ID laws is an hour-long special featuring no credible cases of in-person voter fraud that could have been prevented by such laws.
Voter ID laws are the only remedy for fraud that the host Eric Shawn presents in the special, Fox News Reporting: Stealing Your Vote, which postulates that "voter fraud is still rampant" and ran on April 21 and 22. Shawn is Fox's point person for election fraud coverage, regularly appearing in segments over the last 18 months that conclude with the correspondent urging viewers to send tips to the network's voter fraud email hotline, firstname.lastname@example.org.
In promoting on the voter ID laws that Fox News has regularly hyped, Shawn finds only one supposed claim of in-person voter fraud that could have been prevented by such statutes: the allegation that nearly 1,000 "dead" people voted in South Carolina. Shawn reports:
SOUTH CAROLINA GOV. NIKKI HALEY (R): Let's be clear, I don't want dead people voting in the state of South Carolina.SHAWN: And authorities say there is evidence that dead people voting is a real problem, according to a statewide investigation by South Carolina's Department of Motor Vehicles. In January, it found that 953 ballots were cast by voters who are deceased. But the state Election Commission director disputes those findings.
The state's Election Commission director didn't just "dispute those findings"; the commission investigated and debunked them. Reviewing the 207 contested votes from the 2010 election, the commission found that 106 were clerical errors by poll workers, 56 were errors by the DMV, 32 were cases of people being credited as voting when they hadn't, and three were absentee ballots cast by voters who died before Election Day. The commission said they had "insufficient information" regarding the final ten contested votes, but found no evidence of fraud.
The remainder of the hour-long program was devoted to allegations of election fraud that did not involve the sort of efforts to steal elections through in-person voter fraud that Fox regularly claims voter ID is needed to stop. This is not surprising, as in-person voter fraud is incredibly rare. Apparently unable to find such cases, Shawn filled the time with:
- A case in Connecticut in which a deceased person was reported to have voted; Shawn admits this was later found to be the result of a "clerical error."
- A case in Oakland County, Michigan, involving candidates being placed on the ballot without their knowledge through falsified election filings.
- Cases involving absentee ballot fraud in New York, Florida, Georgia, West Virginia, andMississippi.
- Falsified signatures on petitions seeking to put President Obama on the ballot in Indiana in 2008.
- The case of the Indiana Secretary of State who was convicted of election fraud for registering at the wrong address.
- Evidence-free claims that petitions seeking to recall Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker may include enough false signatures to invalidate that effort.
- A New Mexico investigation into undocumented immigrants that alleged a total of 19 votes that had been cast by non-citizens.
- Allegations of voter registration fraud by ACORN.
- Allegations that up to 1,000 felons voted in the 2008 elections in Minnesota; that claim was based on a conservative group's report that has been debunked.